Survey: Macedonians support new name deal with Greece

Survey: Macedonians support new name deal with Greece Izvor: Shutterstock

More than 40 percent of the Macedonians support the name deal reached between their government and Athens, as well as the country's drive to join both NATO and the European Union, a new poll shows.

Ahead of the crucial referendum on 30 September, the survey shows that in addition to supporting the new name of North Macedonia, those polled are in favour of both the NATO and EU membership bids.

The question in the referendum will be “Are you in favour of NATO and EU membership, and accepting the name agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece?”

The poll shows that 41.5 percent of respondents plan to say yes in the referendum while 35.1 percent are likely to vote against.

The survey shows a gap between the different communities in the country. The Albanian minority is overwhelmingly in favour, with 88 percent whereas among the Macedonians only 27.4 percent would opt for the deal on the new name, while 45.2 percent would reject it.

Most of those polled, 66.4 percent, will turn out and cast their votes in the September referendum, while 19.8 percent are likely to follow the nationalist opposition's call to boycott the vote.

The poll also shows that only about 20 percent of respondents are entirely familiar with the text in the name deal between the two countries.

Skopje and Athens reached a historic deal on the Macedonian new name, thus ending a 27-year-old dispute caused by the Greek refusal to accept the new country emerging from the old Yugoslavia with the same name it had while a member of the Balkan federation.

That halted Macedonia from opening membership processes with NATO and the EU.

The Alliance formally invited Skopje to join, while Brussels said the accession talks with the EU could start next July.

However, both processes depend on the changes of the Macedonian constitution to include the new name.

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